|One of the Marieta islands - barren, rocky, in the middle of the Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta.|
Or so I thought.
Hub and I signed up for a day long trip to the Marietas, four small islands off the coast of Puerto Vallarta. The islands are a national park, uninhabited by humans but full of birds and their poop.
The catamaran left shore 8:30 a.m. and sped across the bay to our destination. It was another hot, dry day in Paradise, not a cloud in the sky, the water bright blue and calm.
Either Mexicans love their alcohol all day long, or they think Americans and Canadians love their alcohol and want to drink all day. I suspect the latter.
An open bar greeted us as the boat left port.
OK, it was five o'clock somewhere, but not close to that hour on the boat. But you would never know it as passengers eagerly imbibed beer, margaritas, pina coladas and other alcoholic concoctions. Attentive personnel did not wait for passengers to head for the bar. They circulated, taking orders and returning a few minutes later carrying a tray of filled plastic cups. All you can drink liquids, snacks mid-morning and a cold buffet lunch kept passengers happy.
I, on the other hand, was not among the party-hardy happy.
I succumbed to a mild case of seasickness. Luckily a friendly stranger provided Dramamine, and I endured the trip vomit-free.
Multi-purpose employees served drinks, passed out snorkeling equipment, entertained passengers with dancing and singing comedy numbers, prepared lunch, assisted passengers in and out of the boat, the water, kayaks...
I took a few pictures, went kayaking, and waited patiently for the trip to end.
Disembarking, we made our way to the taxi stand. The port is several miles from our apartment. Taxis are inexpensive and available, an ideal method of transportation.
We gave the man in charge of hailing cabs our address. He verified the address with us a couple of times, making sure he knew where we were going (and we knew where we wanted to go), then huddled with the other drivers.
No one wanted to take us home.
The drivers refused to drive up the mountain. Not only is the mountain steep, roads are unpaved, composed of rocks of various shapes and sizes imbedded in the ground and surrounded by dirt. There are no smooth surfaces.
The smallest taxi, which also happened to be the oldest, most beat-up one, was finally chosen to drive us home.
After much huffing and puffing (by the cab, not the people inside), the vehicle slowly drove up the hill (I think I can, I think I can...) and we reached our home away from home.
I promptly fell asleep. I was now close to the sea, near the sea, the beautiful sea, but thankfully no longer on the sea.